Next week I’m going “home”! I can hardly wait to see my friends and enjoy Summer in Seattle AKA Heaven.

It’s true that Seattle is gray and drizzly most of the year, but once Independence Day comes and goes, the weather is usually reliably gorgeous. It’s what I imagine heaven to be. The evenings are cool and breezy. The sun lingers late, and bugs don’t bug you. If you haven’t been to Seattle, let me paint you a picture. Seattle is a world-class city sandwiched between two mountain ranges and right on the water. It’s filled with brilliant residents who don’t take life too seriously. To generalize I’d say Seattleites don’t work hard to play hard. Playing is the main priority. I don’t know anyone there who works an 80-hour week. I do know people who don’t answer their phones on summer weekends because they are in the mountains or on the islands and don’t have reception. These are people who say, “f—k it! I’m going to the Mariners game at 1:00 on a Wednesday even though the team has a .438 record.

IMG_1479I miss Seattle a lot. My Pandora settings are still for Seattle, so I hear the local ads. Sometimes I’ll be listening, and hear a Fred Meyer ad, and my mind goes to Bellingham, where I visited my first Fred Meyer in college. Or I think about the one in Ballard with its confusing parking lot where two summers ago I bought camping gear.

So while I’m there, I’m looking forward to playing. Tara and I are renting paddleboards in Ballard. I’m hoping to get some sandbox time in with my little buddies Thomas and Nolan. Riki and I are going to eat the greasiest cheeseburgers we can find. Pam and I are going to ride the city’s new Ferris wheel. I’d love to just spend hours at Green Lake, probably get a run or two in and maybe toss some bocce balls or rent a board.

Even though you didn’t ask, I’ve put together a list of a few of my favorite Seattle places.

Safeco Field

Walking down Occidental to the park is the best. Look for the peanut vendor in a suit. “Peeee-nuts!” he hollars lifting a bag into the air. Grab an Edgar Dog before going into the stadium, too. They’re just better than the dogs inside.

Portage Bay Cafe

I can’t get over how much I love this place for breakfast. Berries are all you can eat, but you must eat all you take.

Fremont Coffee

Unlike those in NYC, the coffee houses of Seattle invite you to linger all day long, if you so desire. You won’t see signs, saying “20 minute maximum” on the walls. Chocolati Cafe is another fun one. You can choose any number of rooms to camp out in all day.

KEXP (where music matters)

Is what radio stations should be. “The man” doesn’t direct the playlist. The Djs are amateur, but they play awesome music. And it’s the music that matters. You can stream it online, which I do often in Manhattan. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “Oh, Seattle? I love KEXP!” after I tell them I’m from Seattle.

WASUP yoga

I’ve been very open about my love for paddleboards. This is where it all began. I take back what I said before about Seattle in general being Heaven. Heaven is really hanging out off Ballard on a board among the seals (or sea lions, I can’t tell the difference) in the evening. Board softly rocking in the gentle waves. Ahhhh!

Seattle Parks

I can’t decide if Green Lake or Carkeek or Discovery or Golden Gardens is my favorite. They’re all beautiful.

Hale’s Brewery

I like beer.

Wine tasting on the East Side

I like wine, too.

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